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Create a Bubble Popping Game - Interface Creation

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In this tutorial series, you'll learn how to create a bubble popping game. The objective of the game is to pop the required bubbles using a single tap. Read on!


Also available in this series:

  1. Create a Bubble Popping Game - Interface Creation
  2. Create a Bubble Popping Game - Adding Interaction

Step 1: Application Overview

Using pre made graphics we will code an entertaining game using Lua and the Corona SDK API's.

The player will be able to tap on the screen in order to destroy the big bubbles, you can modify the parameters in the code to customize the game.


Step 2: Target Device

The first thing we have to do is select the platform we want to run our app within, this way we'll be able to choose the size for the images we will use.

The iOS platform has these characteristics:

  • iPad 1/2/Mini: 1024x768px, 132 ppi
  • iPad Retina: 2048x1536, 264 ppi
  • iPhone/iPod Touch: 320x480px, 163 ppi
  • iPhone/iPod Retina: 960x640px, 326 ppi
  • iPhone 5/iPod Touch: 1136x640, 326 ppi

Because Android is an open platform, there are many different devices and resolutions. A few of the more common screen characteristics are:

  • Asus Nexus 7 Tablet: 800x1280px, 216 ppi
  • Motorola Droid X: 854x480px, 228 ppi
  • Samsung Galaxy SIII: 720x1280px, 306 ppi

In this tutorial we'll be focusing on the iOS platform with the graphic design, specifically developing for distribution to an iPhone/iPod touch, but the code presented here should apply to Android development with the Corona SDK as well.


Step 3: Interface

A simple and friendly interface will be used, this involves multiple shapes, buttons, bitmaps and more.

The interface graphic resources necessary for this tutorial can be found in the attached download.


Step 4: Export Graphics

Depending on the device you have selected, you may need to export the graphics in the recommended ppi, you can do that in your favorite image editor.

I used the Adjust Size... function in the Preview app on Mac OS X.

Remember to give the images a descriptive name and save them in your project folder.


Step 5: App Configuration

An external file will be used to make the application go fullscreen across devices, the config.lua file. This file shows the original screen size and the method used to scale that content in case the app is run in a different screen resolution.

application =
{
    content =
    {
        width = 320,
        height = 480,
        scale = "letterbox"
    },
}

Step 6: Main.lua

Let's write the application!

Open your prefered Lua editor (any Text Editor will work, but you won't have syntax highlighting) and prepare to write your awesome app. Remember to save the file as main.lua in your project folder.


Step 7: Code Structure

We'll structure our code as if it were a Class. If you know ActionScript or Java, you should find the structure familiar.

Necessary Classes

Variables and Constants

Declare Functions

    contructor (Main function)
	
    class methods (other functions)

call Main function

Step 8: Hide Status Bar

display.setStatusBar(display.HiddenStatusBar)

This code hides the status bar. The status bar is the bar on top of the device screen that shows the time, signal, and other indicators.


Step 9: Import Physics

We'll use the Physics library to handle collisions. Use this code to import it:

local physics = require('physics')
physics.start()
physics.setGravity(0,0)

Step 10: Background

A simple graphic is used as the background for the application interface, the next line of code stores it.

-- Graphics

-- [Background]

local bg = display.newImage('bg.png')

Step 11: Title View

This is the Title View, it will be the first interactive screen to appear in our game, these variables store its components.

-- [Title View]

local titleBg
local playBtn
local creditsBtn
local titleView

Step 12: Credits View

This view will show the credits and copyright of the game, this variable will be used to store it.

-- [CreditsView]

local creditsView

Step 13: Bubbles

This group will store the five bubbles that will be created dynamically later in the game. A bullet group is also created.

-- Bubbles & Bullets Group

local bubbles
local bullets

Step 14: Walls

Physics walls are created to make the bubbles bounce on the screen.

-- Walls 

local left
local right
local top
local bottom

Step 15: TextFields

The textfields values are handled by these variables.

-- TextFields

local level
local required
local levelN
local requiredN
local popped
local poppedN

Step 16: Alert

This is the alert that will be displayed when you win the game. It will complete the level and end the game. There is also a 'Level Failed' alert that will behave in a similar way.

-- Alert

local alertView

Step 17: Variables

This are the variables we'll use, read the comments in the code to know more about them.

-- Variables

local lastY --Used to reposition the credits view

Step 18: Declare Functions

Declare all functions as local at the start.

-- Functions

local Main = {}
local startButtonListeners = {}
local showCredits = {}
local hideCredits = {}
local showGameView = {}
local gameListeners = {}
local createBullets = {}
local onCollision = {}
local update = {}
local alert = {}

Step 19: Constructor

Next we'll create the function that will initialize all the game logic:


function Main()
	-- code...
end

Step 20: Add Title View

Now we place the TitleView in the stage and call a function that will add the tap listeners to the buttons.

function Main()
	titleBg = display.newImage('title.png', 85, 50)
	playBtn = display.newImage('playBtn.png', 138, 252)
	creditsBtn = display.newImage('creditsBtn.png', 122, 312)
	titleView = display.newGroup(titleBg, playBtn, creditsBtn)
	
	startButtonListeners('add')
end

Next Time...

In this part of the series you've learned the interface and the basic setup of the game. In the next and final part of the series, we'll handle the level creation, collision detection, and the final steps to take prior to release like app testing, creating a start screen, adding an icon and, finally, building the app. Read the second installment now!

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